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Women Can Look So Lifelike In Video Games. So Can The Way They Get Beaten To Death.

I'm an unabashed nerd. Most prominent in my repertoire of nerdery is video games. But video games haven't always been good to me. Female characters are routinely verbally and physically abused, sexually assaulted, and killed in video games. I'm always annoyed by unnecessarily revealing costumes and obnoxiously gigantic boobs, but it's the violence against female characters that keeps me away from certain games — even entire genres.This video starts with a long series of graphic examples of unnecessary violence against women from 28 of the most successful video games of the last eight years*, but I'm starting you toward the end (23:30), where Anita Sarkeesian discusses an example of a video that does "abuse as a theme" right and why it's important (and possible) for video games to be violent without being harmful.Quick vocab lesson before you start: "NPC" means "non-playable character."*If you start at 23:30, there are no descriptions or depictions of violence, but if you start at the beginning instead, TRIGGER WARNING for everything I mentioned above.

It's worth considering whether these violent presentations of objectified women affect the people who consume them. I'm forced to wonder if there's a connection between images of fictional women as disposable, non-human recipients of violent treatment and the treatment of real women in the gaming community.

It's worth noting that within days of posting this video, Sarkeesian received threats so specific and so severe that she had to temporarily abandon her home and warn her parents (big-time TRIGGER WARNING here).


She received threats because she is completely right. So share this post so that her voice can be louder than the evil people who would threaten and intimidate her for speaking the truth.

If you're curious about the examples** in the video but don't want to view the graphic content, you can check out the accompanying blog post. Some of the violence is described, but there are no images or videos.

For some people, every day is Independence Day. For Janis Shinwari, this will be his first 4th of July as an American citizen. And boy, he earned it.

"If I was in Afghanistan—if I didn't come here, I wouldn't be alive now. I would be dead." Shinwari told CNN Heroes in 2018. Shinwari risked his life for nine years serving as a translator for U.S. forces in his native country of Afghanistan. He risked his life everyday knowing that should he be caught by the Taliban, the consequences would be severe. "If the Taliban catch you, they will torture you in front of your kids and families and make a film of you." Shinwari said. "Then [they'll] send it to other translators as a warning message to stop working with the American forces."

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